Best travel rewards cards 2012

Using a travel card is a great way to fly to your favourite holiday destination for free. These cards will get you there faster. We factored in sign-up bonuses and fees over a five-year period.

21

by MoneySense staff
October 2nd, 2012

From the September/October 2012 issue of the magazine.

21

travel_beach_322
Research shows that experiences make people happier than physical goods—for example, people generally get more pleasure from a $100 ski trip than a $100 watch. “If you’re like me and you have a hard time remembering to take a vacation, it can be great to have some travel points or miles, because it can make particular kinds of purchases feel better,” says behavioural psychologist Matt Wallaert.

To find the card that best matches your spending and re-payment patterns, try our Credit Card Selector Tool.

In the meantime, here’s our list of cards that provide the highest average percentages of cash back for every dollar you spend:

1.


Capital One
Aspire Travel World MasterCard
Annual Fee: $120
Current Interest Rate: 19.8%
Card Details: Requires personal income of $60,000 or household income of $100,000; includes travel medical insurance.

2.


American Express
Gold Rewards
Annual Fee: $150
Current Interest Rate: n.a.
Card Details: Balance must be paid in full each month. Includes travel medical insurance and car rental insurance.

3.


RBC
WestJet World MasterCard
Annual Fee: $79
Current Interest Rate: 19.99%
Card Details: Includes travel medical and car rental insurance, purchase security and extended warranty.

4.


BMO
World Elite MasterCard
Annual Fee: $150
Current Interest Rate: 20.5%
Card Details: Includes medical, travel and car rental insurance, airport lounge access and extended warranty.

5.


CIBC
Aerogold VISA
Annual Fee: $120
Current Interest Rate: 19.99%
Card Details: Tied with CIBC Aventura World MasterCard, CIBC Aerogold Visa Infinite and CIBC Aventura Visa Infinite.

6.


TD
First Class Travel Visa Infinite
Annual Fee: $120
Current Interest Rate: 19.99%
Card Details: Includes trip interruption and cancellation insurance and delayed and lost baggage coverage.

7.


American Express
Blue Sky
Annual Fee: $0
Current Interest Rate: 19.99%
Card Details: Includes travel accident insurance and premium event seating.

8.


American Express
AeroplanPlus Gold
Annual Fee: $120
Current Interest Rate: n.a.
Card Details: Balance must be paid in full each month. Includes car rental insurance, premium event seating and extended warranty.

What’s the real value of your travel rewards points?

Here we show you the annual value of the travel rewards points you could earn with our top cards, based on your monthly spending.

Learn how we crunched the numbers for Canada’s Best Credit Cards 2012 by reading our methodology.

Travel cards not for you? Check out our Best cash-back cards 2012, Best merchandise cards 2012, Best low-rate cards 2012Best student cards 2012 and Best small business cards 2012 lists instead.

21 comments on “Best travel rewards cards 2012

  1. What about Avion Visa??

    Reply

    • I also want Answer about your question. You are Right.

      Reply

    • Hi carol, Check out delta sky miles capital 1. 3.9% return for each dollar spent. Best card out there in regards to return for dollar value. Avion gives 2% per dollar and 3% with the bonus

      Reply

  2. What about the BMO Gold Mastercard??? I pay 90 dollars annual fee and get 1 airmile for every 20spent. Is there a better deal for airmiles? Should I be using another card to save for travel??

    Reply

    • Have the BMO MC and looking to change. It takes forever to get enough miles and then the airmiles taxes are over the top! I strongly dislike airmiles!

      Reply

  3. "This blog is really very interesting and easy to understand the information provided in it. It is very nice to view this blog and it's nice to see the best information cited here.
    Thank you."

    Reply

  4. My flight was cancelled because of bad weather. I booked the flight with my TD travel credit card but was told by TD that the travel insurance did not cover this kind of event………..Even though they advertise trip cancellation insurance. This card should not be in this list.

    Reply

    • You definitely need to call back and talk to a manager,i cancelled a trip at the last minutes and i got 100% of my money back. I have the td visa infinite and honestly i don't understand how this card isn't on the first place! 3 points every dollars spent and 9 points every dollars spend through expedia, who beats that? Definitely not capital one,rbc,bmo,amex or cibc. And the big bonus is when you leave a minimum of $5000 balance on your chequing account your credit card annual fees and your monthly chequing are waved.

      Reply

      • Hi chris, when checking travel credit cards it ultimately comes to the % of money back per $ spent. Td can offer 10 points per dollar but if it only yields 1% per dollar spent, u r better off to find another card. Check out capital 1 delta skylines card. It yields 3.9% per dollar spent which is the best card out there I'm pretty sure (for example avion offers 2.5% for a dollar spent). Let me know! -kris

        Reply

      • You do get 3 points for every dollar spent, but how many TD travel points does it take to get $100 towards flights?

        - Diane

        Reply

    • I had a nightmare experience with Expedia for TD and received a very minimal reimbursement for a cancelled flight. The key word is cancelled. According to TD if it is cancelled, it is not covered, but my flight was cancelled and rescheduled to another time later in the day, so I had to say it was rescheduled to get anything back. Even so, I have not been happy with TD for this and interest charges in spite of paying the bill on time. If there is an issue between your bank and TD for transferring the funds even though you pay on time you are dinged interest. I am not sure if interest charges in this circumstance are contrary to Canadian Payments Association standards.

      Reply

    • I wonder if the card is only meant to protect you if YOU have to cancel your travel plans due to illness or some other legitimate reason. That is different than an airline or cruise line cancelling a scheduled departure.

      Reply

  5. any one has the desjardins odyssey gold. how would it compare?

    Reply

  6. Very impressive list of information!!! I didn't know this before as well. I was in the hunt for this type of reading. Love this information. Thanks for this allocation!!!

    Reply

  7. Excellent sharing. All of these travel rewards cards really good for the travelers. Actually i like too much do the travel. Every month i go the travel. It is my hobby……………. Are you like it ?

    Reply

  8. Excellent post. I've never had a cash back card because I hate credit cards, but I need to get one.

    Reply

  9. I personally have had the bmo airmiles card for years but don't feel I really get much bang for my buck… quite a few friends of mine swear by the Avion Visa… how do you feel this card compares to those in your list? Being in the vacation rentals business it's good to know these things too as my clients are all travelers.

    Reply

  10. As an FYi, for those of you considering the Capital One Aspire World travel card. After owning this credit card for 18 months, I have been advised by their credit supervisor that they are no longer allowing credit increases. Beware, the initial credit issuance is what you will be stuck with for life.
    I place approximately $10K per month on this card and fully pay it off each month. After 6 months of this type of usage I requested an increase, to which they replied it takes one full year. After a year, I called back and they said it takes another 6 months to review credit and they issue letters if you qualify. After another 6 months, I was told they do not do credit increases.
    Still, best points system for travel but they are very conservative when it comes to credit.

    Reply

  11. By the way there is a Scotiabank Amex Gold card out there that beats all these card by a mile. 4x points on gas, groceries, dining and entertainment + travel medical, car collision and all other perks:)

    Reply

    • CIBC is forcing its Aventura World Elite Mastercard on me by cancelling my existing Aventura card three years before the printed expiry date. I have 43 recurring payments on my current card and these will all have to be notified to use the new card. CIBC offers no explanation or compensation for this arbitrary change to a card they issued less than a year ago. Buyers beware?

      Reply

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *